Arkansas’ new lottery sheriff earns more than the head of the State Police Department.
That’s the latest news coming out of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. According to an article by Michael Wickline and Seth Blomeley, Governor Beebe is finally criticizing the exorbitant salaries lottery employers are receiving. In particular, Beebe does not agree with the lottery commission’s opinion that the lottery security director, Lance Huey, be paid over $115,000 per year–several thousand dollars more than the head of the State Police.
The people of Arkansas ratified a lottery amendment that was very broad and vague; in keeping with the spirit of that amendment, the Arkansas Legislature gave the Lottery Commission sweeping powers to do pretty much whatever they want. Now we’re reaping the benefits: A lottery commission accountable to virtually no one, able to pay itself ridiculous salaries.
Lawmakers may say that this isn’t what they voted for, but they’re wrong. Whether they knew it or not when they passed the lottery bill last spring, this is exactly what they voted for. The only question now is whether they will vote to change that.
You can read more about the Governor’s comments by going to http://www2.arkansasonline.com/news/2009/jul/16/governor-takes-note-lottery-pay-talk-20090716/.